Photography and Video

Cameras, camcorders, and photography advice.

Chris Marquardt and Holiday Photography

Chris Marquardt

Episode 1651

Chris likes shooting pictures during the holidays because it's so different from any other time of the year. Lights, for instance, create a mode, and you can use the placement of those lights, with a shallow depth of field, to make a beautiful image. But you don't want to use a flash. It'll completely kill the mood that you're trying to create. It'll also wash things out and blind your subject. Ultimately, killing the mood. You could use an orange gel on the flash or bounce the flash off the ceiling. That could help.

Why won't Google Photos delete my photos after backup?

Google Photos

Episode 1651

Tom from Cleveland, Georgia

Tom has a Motorola Moto G with Google Photos sync. He deletes the photos from his phone, but it continues to download the images back. Leo says there's a setting in Google Photos to delete local copies of the photos you backup to Photos. You won't lose them if you enable it. In fact, it's streaming that image to your phone in Google Photos. So they aren't really there, they're just thumbnails.

Chris Marquardt ... A Winter Season

Chris Marquardt

Episode 1647

Chris joins us to talk about Winter Photography. Winter is one of Chris' favorite times of the year, and with it comes getting ready to take some great pictures in the cold. But that comes with its own set of challenges. There's a lot of white. Fog. Overcast skies. And cold! But these kinds of conditions can create some remarkable conditions worth taking pictures of. So always have a camera in your car this winter. If you're worried about batteries dying in the cold, use a film camera. You can get them cheap now. 

Is a Slide Scanner Good for Scanning Old Film Slides?

Nikon

Episode 1646

Charles from Redondo Beach, CA

Charles would like to use a Nikon film scanner to scan his collection of slides. Leo says that Nikon Coolscan 5000 is one of the best scanners out there, with a max DPI of 400 PPI. But they're expensive, and he'd still have to clean each slide or have spent a lot of time and money for nothing. Another option is a dual lit scanner by Epson, that comes with a bulk loader. On top of that, scanning takes a lot of time. Leo recommends a service like ScanCafe because for the same price, they'll not only scan your slides, but they'll clean them and color correct as well.

Why isn't Google Photos grouping my photos anymore?

Google Photos

Episode 1645

Edmond from Burbank, CA

Edmond wants to know if Google Photos is a good backup option for his family photos. Leo says it is. You can upload unlimited high-resolution images or up to 15GB of uncompressed Raw images. And it's searchable in a variety of ways. But the caller says it's not uploading his images anymore and some of the facial recognition doesn't work well. Leo says to make sure the faces you gather together are named. Train it. But it sounds like Google may have changed the feature or took it out of a recent update. 

Why is my camera not focusing?

Sony A7R IV

Episode 1645

John from Mount Juliet, Tennessee

John has a Sony A7R and he's having some focusing issues with his lens. Leo says that you can sometimes accidentally switch off autofocus on the lens. So make sure your switch is enabled to AF. Another thing to do is update the lens' firmware. Yes, your lens has firmware. It may be old or even corrupted. So update it. Also, clean the contacts with a QTip and some alcohol. 

Chris Marquardt ... the DJI Mavic Mini

Chris Marquardt

Episode 1645

Leo says some of the best photos he took on his vacation wasn't with his Sony A7IV, but with his iPhone 11 Pro Max. The Deep Fusion feature does an incredible job. Chris also wanted to talk about the DJI Mavic Mini. He's impressed with its navigation features, and it shoots 2.7K video, which is just fine for most people. And it's very affordable at under $400. Chris uses a DJI Mavic Air and even though he's a pro photographer, he only uses it a few times a year. So the Mavic Mini is a good buy for the casual drone enthusiast.

Can I recover damaged photo files?

File Types

Episode 1645

Patisse from Yucaipa, CA

Patisse hard drive died recently. She spent $800 doing data recovery on it. But now, she can't open some of the photo files, saying the format isn't supported. Leo says that one of the problems recovering data from a damaged drive is that the files can get corrupted and unreadable. Is there a program that can repair them? Leo says maybe. It just depends on what the damage is. Look for a free trial before you buy a photo repair and recovery software. If you don't have a trial version, then Leo suspects it's not going to be very effective.